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Grand Theatre to offer free student matinees of Prom Queen: The Musical

The Grand Theatre will offer two free student matinees of Prom Queen: The Musical after more than $55,000 was raised when two school boards pulled their funding.

As of Friday afternoon, more than $55,000 has been raised for the High School Project

The cast of Prom Queen: The Musical which was at the Segal Centre in Montreal last year. (Kristin Falcao/CBC)

The Grand Theatre will offer two free student matinees of Prom Queen: The Musical after more than $55,000 was raised when two school boards pulled their funding. 

The fundraising effort was initially trying to make up the $30,000 lost when the Thames Valley District and London District Catholic school boards refused to give their usual $15,000 each to the project. 

Prom Queen: The Musical, is based on the true 2002 story of a gay Oshawa teenager fighting the Durham Region Catholic School Board for the right to take his boyfriend to prom.

The two boards have come under fire from Londoners and from people across the country since CBC News first reported their de-funding decision on Wednesday evening. 

Thames Valley school board trustees have since decided to revisit the funding issue at a school board meeting on Tuesday. 

""After hearing from our students, staff and community, (trustees) will be discussing and debating a motion to fund the Grand Theatre's High School Production on Tuesday night," board of trustees chair Matt Reid wrote in a tweet.

The London District Catholic School Board has not made a similar move to debate the decision.  

The move to pull the funding was made by senior administrators, and some Thames Valley trustees are frustrated they weren't consulted about the matter. 

"Hindsight is 20/20, but in this case foresight should have been 20/20," said longtime trustee Peter Jaffe, who was speaking as an individual trustee, and not for the entire board. 

"If someone had sat down with all the trustees and said they want to pull the funding because of the language or the themes, I think the majority of trustees would have been concerned." 

The school boards have funded the High School Project, put on by the Grand Theatre, for 20 years. Past productions have included Evita, Les Miserables, and Footloose. 

The school boards pulled their funding but said students could still audition and participate in the production. 

More to come

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